Oh, My Aching Back Foot!

What? You don’t have an aching back foot? OK, I don’t either, actually. But what about an aching back or foot?

Since back pain and foot problems are a couple of the maladies that can plague us in a survival scenario, I decided to get some helpful tips on back and foot problems from Joe and Amy Alton, aka Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy. They were my guests on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio, and we went back and forth about back and foot problems.

Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy are well known and well respected survival medicine experts. They’re the authors of the best selling book, The Survival Medicine Handbook. We talked about their book the last time they were on my show, which you can read about here. If you need more info on their credentials–and believe me, they’re well qualified to do what they’re doing–look them up at DoomAndBloom.net.

The topics we discussed could each take up a book. Nonetheless, Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy passed on tips I trust you’ll find helpful. I’ll share just a few highlights.


Back Pain

In a grid down or other survival situation, it may be necessary for you and I to do a lot more strenuous activity. For example, we may have to lifg or carry firewood. Back injuries are more likely, and we’ll have to realize our limitations. Getting over back pain takes time.

Fortunately, there are some simple, noninvasive things you can do for nonmuscular back troubles. If you’ve developed a herneated disc or have sciatic nerve pain, you’ll need to take it easy. Get plenty of rest. Rest in as comfortable a position as you can, such as with a pillow between your legs when you’re on your side or under your knees when you’re on your back. Lie on the opposite side from where pain is.

If you can, put an ice pack on your back for 20 minutes at regular intervals for the first 24-48 hours after pain begins. Then use a heat pack. That can loosen sore muscles, especially in the morning. Moist heat treatment is very good.

Do low impact exercises. Also, believe it or not, strengthening your stomach muscles can help ease the job your back has to do.

Stock up on products like Icy Hot or Mineral Ice. Nurse Amy highly recommends arnica salve. Have anti-inflamatory medicines on hand, too.

Don’t let just anybody pop your back if it feels out of place. Spinal manipulation should be done by someone such as a chiropractor who’s properly trained to do that. However, massage and using pressure points wisely can help with sore muscles and strains.

To prevent problems, do muscle stretching exercises before heavy lifting. Lift with your legs, not your back. Bring the item to be lifted close to the center of your body first.

Does your backpack have hip support? You’ll need it for long hikes. Also, use a walking stick when you’re walking on rough ground. Don’t hesitate to look down while you’re walking the trail.

For additional info, you may want to take a look at an article in “Backwoods Home Magazine” called How to fix your aching back using the McKenzie Method, by Dave Duffy.


Foot Problems

It’s something we may not think about, but foot care is very important. Make sure you’re wearing high quality footwear that gives you the support you need. Don’t skimp on this.

When you’re purchasing from a shoe store, take about 20 minutes to walk around in the shoes or boots you’re trying on. Go to the store later in the day as well because, as strange as it sounds, your feet are a little larger then.

Don’t buy tight shoes with the expectation that they’ll stretch. Also, be sure your shoes are large enough to accommodate thick socks.

If you have special foot supports, have them with you when you’re buying new shoes or boots.

It’s a good idea to have a spare pair of shoes or boots, too. You may need them in a long term scenario.

To prevent other foot problems caused by bacteria and fungus, wash your feet every day. Nurse Amy recommends adding tea tree oil to the water you wash your feet in.

Make sure your socks are clean. Wash them in soapy hot water. Dry your shoes out, too.

At the end of the day, air your feet out. Wear sandals if you like.

Stock up now on topical antifungal ointment or powder. Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy dispelled the myth that peeing on your feet gets rid of athlete’s foot fungus. There’s not enough urea in urine to do any good.


Find Out More

I say it all the time, but it’s true that I can only share a few highlights of the conversation that took place on this week’s show. So I highly recommend listening to DestinySurvival Radio for October 31, 2013. (Right click to download the show.) If you tried the show link before and didn’t get to hear the whole thing, try again.

Joe and Amy are not only brimming over with practical medical knowledge, but they’re fun to talk to and listen to. And as noted above, find out more about Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, and read numerous helpful articles, when you go to www.doomandbloom.net.
If you have thoughts about anything you’ve read above or what you’ve heard on this week’s show, feel free to leave a comment below. I’d love to know what you have to say. How have you dealt with back or foot problems?


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.